Statement: Adam Smith International Announces Major Reform


Adam Smith International (ASI), the advisory firm, will restructure its senior team and reform the organisation into an enterprise focussed on social impact. A key element of the change will be the re-investment of a significant percentage of net earnings into developing countries.

The restructuring follows government scrutiny of the sector and the International Development Committee’s calls for change to the industry and to ASI.

The changes will include the four founding directors retiring, completing a transition to an employee-owned company initiated in 2014. Key changes, designed to ensure that ASI has a robust governance framework, are:

• The business will be restructured as an enterprise with primary focus on a social mission, with a mandate to consider its triple bottom line, taking into account its social, environmental and financial performance
• The company will also establish a foundation and reinvest a significant percentage of net earnings in developing countries, in part through the new foundation
• Three founding  executives - Andrew Kuhn, Amitabh Shrivastava and Peter Young - will step down
• William Morrison, a founding director and ASI’s Executive Chairman, will step down after leading ASI through the restructuring
• A non-executive Chairperson and further non-Executive Directors will be appointed
• The company will complete a comprehensive 38-point reform plan to strengthen policies, procedures and standards; this is already underway and will be completed by no later than the end of March 2017
• ASI has voluntarily withdrawn from current DFID procurement exercises until this reform plan is completed.

William Morrison, Executive Chairman, said:

‘The company’s mission is to foster the social and economic development of some of the poorest and often most conflict-ridden countries in the world. Our comprehensive reform emphasises the importance to our staff of this mission.  We regret that certain deficiencies of policy and procedure resulted in our failure to meet the highest standards of corporate governance, such that we did not meet the expectations of DFID and the public, to whom we are accountable. The changes we are making will address the requirement to now meet and exceed these expectations.

We seek to ensure the highest standards of corporate governance, a fit-for-purpose structure and culture, and accountability to our clients, including significantly the UK Government, and to the beneficiaries of our work.’